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New breast cancer drug massively increases survival


Ribociclib improved the survival of breast cancer sufferers

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. Around every eighth woman falls ill with it in the course of her life. The risk is greatest between the ages of 40 and 70. Around 70,000 new cases are registered each year in Germany. 17,000 women die of cancer each year. A new drug, Ribociclib, was recently launched that significantly improves survival in advanced breast cancer.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently launched a new drug that significantly improves the survival rate of women with aggressive breast cancer. A randomized phase III study with a 42-month follow-up showed that women with advanced breast cancer survived significantly more often if they received the new drug Ribociclib in addition to the usual therapy. The survival rate rose from 46 to 70 percent. The results were recently presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting 2019.

Breakthrough in breast cancer therapy

“Advanced breast cancer in pre-menopausal women can be very aggressive. It is important and encouraging to find a targeted therapy that significantly improves the survival of younger women with this disease, ”emphasizes Dr. med. Harold J. Burstein from ASCO in a press release on the study results. The study showed that 672 women with advanced HR-positive / HER2-negative breast cancer showed that the additional administration of ribociclib is associated with a higher chance of survival.

Good news in a terrible context

“This is the first study to show an improved survival rate for targeted endocrine therapy as a first-line treatment for advanced breast cancer,” adds the lead author of the study, Dr. Sara A. Hurvitz. The use of ribociclib as primary treatment in the study significantly extended the overall survival of women. "This is good news for women with this terrible disease," said the expert. Because advanced breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women between the ages of 20 and 59.

What is ribociclib?

According to ASCO, ribociclib is an active ingredient that inhibits the activity of certain enzymes that promote the growth of cancer cells. In the study, ribociclib was administered with goserelin, a drug that suppresses estrogen. In addition, the women received one of three other therapies.

An overview of the study results

The study focused exclusively on women under the age of 59 who developed breast cancer before menopause. No other endocrine therapy had previously been performed on the patients. 70 percent of women who received ribocilcib were still alive after 42 months of aftercare. In a comparison group that received a placebo, only 46 percent of the women survived the follow-up period. Overall, this corresponded to a relative 29 percent reduction in death risk.

What's next with Ribociclib?

In the next step, the researchers plan to carry out analyzes of the patients and the clinical findings to determine which group of women can benefit most from the new drug. (vb)

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